Asylum:

Approval Rates for Selected Applicants

GGD-87-82FS: Published: Jun 4, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided data on aliens who applied for asylum and were: (1) represented by attorneys, private or public groups, or themselves; and (2) detained or released on an immigration bond or their own recognizance.

GAO reviewed several asylum applications from 1984 and found that: (1) 77 percent of the applicants submitted applications to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) district director who had jurisdiction over their place of residence; (2) while the overall approval rate for applicants with legal representation was 36 percent, it was 16 percent for aliens who represented themselves; (3) there was an insufficient number of applicants represented by public or private groups to compute approval rates; (4) INS ordered illegal aliens to show why it should not deport them and used its discretion to maintain custody or release aliens on bond or their own recognizance; (5) INS approved less than 5 percent of the applications from aliens detained or subsequently released; and (6) the approval rate for applicants who had no record of detention was 26 percent.

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